Teenager Pleads Not Guilty to Pushing Girl Off of 60-Foot-High Bridge

September 8, 2018 Updated: March 19, 2019

An 18-year-old girl who has admitted to pushing a 16-year-old girl off of a bridge, causing her to plunge 60 feet, has pleaded not guilty.

Jordan Holgerson was pushed off of a bridge in Vancouver, Washington, on August 7. She was standing atop the Moulton Falls bridge, which sits above the Lewis River in Clark County.

A cellphone video shows Holgerson looking down on the water while someone off the screen counts down.

Holgerson hesitates, but then someone pushed her from behind.

“I went to the top of the bridge and my other—my friend … she came up to the bridge with me,” Holgerson told KATU from her hospital bed as she described the moments leading up to the push.

“And so, she was counting down, but I didn’t think anything of it. And I was like, ‘No, don’t count down, like, I won’t go if you count down. I’m not ready.’ And then, she pushed me.”

Holgerson suffered five broken ribs, a punctured lung, and air bubbles in her chest.

Friend Identified, Charged

The friend was identified as Taylor Smith. She was charged with reckless endangerment.

Prosecutors cited a statement by the arresting officer that stated in part, “It is clear that Taylor Smith engaged in conduct which created a substantial risk of death and resulted in serious physical injury to Jordan Holgerson.”

Smith claimed that Holgerson “asked for a push.”

“She wanted to jump and she was scared, and she had asked me to give her a push,” said Smith in a televised interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” show.

“I didn’t think about the consequences,” Smith added.

“I thought she would be fine.”

Not Guilty Plea

Despite admitting to pushing her friend off the bridge, Smith entered a not guilty plea during her first court appearance on Sept. 7, reported KOIN.

The broadcaster said that Smith “appeared visibly upset in court” and declined an interview.

Smith’s grandmother Debbie Mceldowney told KOIN that her granddaughter has experienced a huge backlash on social media websites after the video footage showing her shoving Holgerson emerged.

“I feel like the law needs to go by what the law does, and not social media,” Mceldowney said. “And I think this is a very unfortunate incident. We’re sparring hate.”

Smith faces up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Holgerson attended the court session with family and friends. She previously said that she wants her friend to spend time in jail.

“Well at first I didn’t really want Taylor to get in trouble, but now that I’ve thought about it more, I’m kind of wanting her to sit in jail and think about at least what she did,” she said.

From NTD.tv

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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